March 26, 2018

Farwick, Robles, are inaugural Barb Brown Internship recipients

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Sarah Farwick and Gabby Robles, two Southern Illinois University Carbondale political science majors, are the recipients of the inaugural Barb Brown Springfield Internship.

Farwick is a senior from McHenry, Ill., and plans to attend law school when she graduates in May 2018. She is interested in both law and government. Robles, a junior studying political science and economics, is from Chicago and will graduate in May 2019.

The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute and Department of Political Science selected Farwick and Robles for the paid internship during the spring 2018 legislative session in Springfield.

Farwick is working with the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. Robles is working with Liz Brown & Associates, a government affairs consulting firm. Robles’ specializations include public policy, law and economics.

Interns will be busy while in Springfield

Linda Baker, university professor with the Simon Institute, will mentor Farwick and Robles while they are in Springfield.

"Students of Professor Brown's were among the best prepared for their legislative internships. I looked forward to working with them each legislative session,” Baker said.

Students earn academic credit for their work

Students can receive up to 15 hours of academic credit. Interns perform a variety of tasks, including legislative and policy research, committee monitoring, and other activities focused on lobbying.

“I join many others in Springfield who tout their internship programs as helpful stepping stones to careers in government — these internships are definitely a way for young people to get a crucial first step in the door state government,” Baker said.

Honoring Barb Brown’s legacy

The internship honors Brown, an SIU alumna and former political science lecturer for more than 30 years, who passed away in May 2016. Brown earned her doctorate from SIU Carbondale in 1985 and is remembered for her intellectual curiosity and dedication to students.

She served as Randolph County circuit clerk for 12 years. She taught American government and democracy classes to international students through a summer program funded by the U.S. Department of State. 

She was very active in politics, including as a nine-time delegate to the Democratic National Convention, a two-time candidate for 58th State Senate District, and roles in the presidential campaigns of President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama. 

Brown helped establish the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in Randolph County, served on the Chester Public Library Board of Trustees, started and led Chester Aces 4-H club, and was a longtime Rotary International member and an organizing member of the Daughters of the American Revolution Liberty of the West chapter.

To contribute to the internship program

Private donations from individuals and corporations fund the Barb Brown Internship program.

Tax-deductible donations can be made online at or sent to the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Mail Code 4429, 1231 Lincoln Dr., Carbondale, Illinois 62901.

Sarah Farwick

Sarah Farwick

Gabby Robles

Gabby Robles